The fifth bi-annual Consulting Summit on November 7 brought together academic support staff and librarians from across the campus to compare experiences providing help to instructors and researchers, and to explore the topic of inclusion and diversity in the services they provide.
Forty-five people participated in the half-day event held at the Berkeley Institute for Data Sciences (BIDS) in Doe Library, nearly half attending the summit for the first time. Participants came from a dozen units, including the Library, Research IT, Educational Technology Services, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Campus Shared Services-IT, the D-Lab, Digital Humanities at Berkeley, Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education (BRCOE), the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarships.
Attendees focused during morning breakout groups on three questions addressing the summit’s theme, “How to build and sustain community among consultants”: “Who do we serve, who don’t we serve (well), and how do we support each other to cover the gaps?”
Lunch provided an opportunity to hear from and speak with Professor Oscar Dubón, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion. Vice Chancellor Dubón spoke of the strength of collective intelligence and the need to welcome, value and support each member of the campus community. Speaking about the day’s topic, Dubón told the group, “Looking inward as you are doing is important,” so that “we can understand together how campus isn’t supporting people who aren’t being served.”
In the afternoon, the assembly broke into small groups to focus on topics that emerged from the morning's conversation. Themes included exploring new hiring and recruiting practices and helping faculty support diversity and inclusion. Especially noteworthy at this summit was an interest in strengthening the design of services geared towards undergraduates. The discussion group around undergraduate services will be continuing as a working group, and will report back at the next consulting summit. Similarly, a group focused on outreach efforts to improve diversity, led by Suzanne Harrison from BRCOE, will continue to meet as a working group.
The next summit is expected to take place in Spring 2018.